Is Satan Alive and Well on Planet Earth Part 3

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Today we complete our brief series on whether or not the commonly held view that “Satan is alive and well on planet earth” is Scripturally-valid. In the last two studies we discovered that Satan is, at present, both a “cast-down foe” and “crushed-serpent.” Today, we move to the most contested aspect of this controversial discussion, namely, that Satan is presently a “shackled (or bound) dragon.” 

Why do most believers have major difficulty accepting the description of Satan as a “shackled dragon”? I believe the reason for this rests in their primary struggle with the language found in Revelation 20:2-3: “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.” Commonly pointed out in opposition is that there is no way Satan is bound -- “just look at the 10:00 p.m. news!” They say, “just read 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; and 1 John 5:19.”  I respond, “But you must synthesize those texts with: Luke 10:17-18; James 4:7; and 1 John 4:4”.  (Obviously, I want you to open up your Bibles and read the passages in this article very carefully.) Not surprisingly, they then proceed to assure us that its fulfillment is yet future (during a 1000-year earthly millennium). But I respond by asking, “Does not Matthew 12:28-29 say that Satan was ‘bound’ during Christ’s earthly ministry?” Listen to our Lord’s own words: ‘How can anyone enter the strong man’s house unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.’” Specifically speaking, this binding happened at Christ’s “first” advent (Luke 8:31; John 12:31), Crucifixion (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8) and Resurrection (John 12:32). Dearly beloved, this “binding” of Satan has to do with his now “former” ability to deceive the nations. Remember, Revelation 20:3 says, “…that he might not deceive the nations any longer…”  Scripture clearly says that Satan’s death grip of idolatry over the nations was shattered by Christ at the cross and subsequently through the gospel’s proclamation to the nations (John 1:9; Galatians 4:4; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 26:18). In the generations previous to Christ’s coming, God “permitted” the nations to collectively go astray (Acts 14:16-17), and now we are called “to declare to all men everywhere that they should repent” (Acts 17:30). Therefore, we must understand that Christ, NOT the “evil one,” now rules the nations (Psalm 2:8-9; Revelation 1:5; 12:5; 19:15-16).  In conclusion, the Bible declares that “Satan is NOT alive and well on planet earth!” Instead, it asserts that Christ is presently building His church, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). So, the next time you read of, see, or experience sin; are sinned against or encounter any difficulty; do not be so quick to blame the devil.  He has to get permission to do anything to us (Luke 22:31-32). Look instead to your own prideful heart first … and repent. Further, expect evil in a fallen world and be amazed that there is any good down here; that anything good happens to “bad” people (Luke 11:13; Hebrews 3:12-13). In fact, thank our great God and Savior (Titus 2:13), Jesus Christ, the triumphant Lamb, for His victory over sin and the grave more than 2000 years ago! Hallelujah, what a Savior! Dear child of God, He’s building His church (Matthew 13:31-33), and nothing, not even the gates of hell, shall thwart His plan (Matthew 16:18; Isaiah 14:27)!

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